Hagan’s Haus NFL Picks (Week 11)
The week 10 recap includes a couple of storylines, beginning with a huge win by Seattle in Foxborough. The Browns remain winless, and they are only six losses away from being the fifth team to finish a season without recording a win. They could also be the second team ever to finish a season 0-16. The Packers are on the decline and Mike McCarthy may be forced to pack his bags if they find themselves sitting at home during the playoffs. The Vikings have lost four straight and somehow are still tied with the Lions for first place in the NFC North. The last major storyline is that the Cowboys have the best record in the NFL, behind Dak Prescott. Prescott has the second longest winning streak for a rookie quarterback with eight straight wins. Ben Roethlisberger holds the record with 13 straight wins by a rookie quarterback.
The playoff races are getting tight with most teams only having seven games remaining. There is less room for error and there are a lot of games this week with playoff implications. Week 11 features four teams on a bye week, consisting of: Atlanta, Denver, New York (J), and San Diego. Bye weeks are almost done with, as week 12 has no teams on a bye, and week 13 has just two teams on a bye. Last week was a rough week for picks, so it is time to bounce back. Here are Hagan’s Haus NFL picks for week 11.
Last Week: 6-8
Season Record: 82-60-2
New Orleans (4-5) 38 @ Carolina (3-6) 41: This will be a great divisional game as both teams will be fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Saints have lost three of the last four games at Carolina, with the one win coming October 30, 2014. The Saints already beat the Panthers in New Orleans this season 41-38 on a last second field goal. This game will be another shootout and close game that Carolina will win at home to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Pittsburgh (4-5) 37 @ Cleveland (0-10) 17: Last week I went out on a limb to pick the Browns. They have some solid talent on their team and shouldn’t be 0-10. The fact of the matter is they are 0-10 and a bad team. It is tough to try and find a win on their schedule for the remainder of the year. The Steelers could play their worst game of the year and still win. The Steelers will come in and dominate this game. It will get ugly early because Pittsburgh needs this win badly for their playoff hopes.
Baltimore (5-4) 20 @ Dallas (8-1) 27: Dallas has the best record in the NFL, so it is safe to say they are the best team. The offensive line should all be handed the MVP trophy because they are the reason the Cowboys are this good. Ezekiel Elliot is a great back and I don’t want to take anything away from him but he is looking this great because of the offensive line. There hasn’t been a single team to prove they can stop the running game of the Cowboys and that is why they will continue to win.
Jacksonville (2-7) 24 @ Detroit (5-4) 26: Detroit is one game above .500 but tied for first in the NFC North. This is a trap game for the Lions. Jacksonville is a horrible road team and few, if any, expect them to win this game. All of the Lions games have been decided by seven points or less so this will be a close game. Matt Prater will hit a 50 yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to push the Lions to 6-4.
Tennessee (5-5) 32 @ Indianapolis (4-5) 29: Marcus Mariota is getting no love nationally. The talk is always about Jameis Winston when it comes to second year quarterbacks. It is time people start to recognize how good Mariota is. Mariota has never thrown a redzone interception in his short career. After Sunday’s four touchdown performance, Mariota has become one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL. In his past four games he has 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Mariota will pick apart the Colts defense and the Titans will begin to make their run at Houston for the AFC South title.
Buffalo (4-5) 31 @ Cincinnati (3-5-1) 27: The Bengals defense is not as good as it once was and it may be due to age. The tie they had is going to help them stay in the division race, but they can’t afford another loss. The Bills are also on the bubble of the playoff picture and need a big win to get to .500. Tyrod Taylor is having a great season and now that Lesean McCoy is back, their offense becomes dangerous. It will be enough to get a win and the Bengals start to fade away from the playoffs.
Tampa Bay (4-5) 17 @ Kansas City (7-2) 28: The Kansas City Chiefs just quietly keep on rolling. While tied for the best record in the AFC with the Raiders and Patriots, the Chiefs are never considered a contender. That is the way Andy Reid likes it. His team will be ready to compete and if you take them lightly, you will lose. Arrowhead is near impossible to win at as the Chiefs have a 16-4 home record since the start of the 2014 season. The Bucs are not a team capable of winning in an environment as hostile as this.
Chicago (2-7) 17 @ New York(G)(6-3) 38: The Chicago Bears are bad and Jay Cutler is even worse. He will be remembered as one of the biggest wastes of talent ever. His teammates won’t stand by him any longer, and their head coach has already said he will be moving on. The Giants air attack is virtually unstoppable and Eli will have a career game against the Bears secondary.
Arizona (4-4-1) 23 @ Minnesota (5-4) 19: The Minnesota Vikings are going to be signing guys from 7-11 to play offensive line for them due to the amount of injuries they have. Blair Walsh is guaranteed to miss either an extra point, a field goal, or possibly one of each. This team is on the decline and there is no end in sight. The Cardinals are by no means world beaters but the lack of health from the Vikings will be enough for the Cardinals in this one.
Miami (5-4) 31 @ St. Louis (4-5) 24: This should be one of the best games of the week. The Dolphins are one of the best rushing teams in the NFL averaging 120.3 yards per game; good enough for sixth best. The Rams have a talented defensive line led by one of the best defenders in the league, Aaron Donald. A lot of games in the NFL are won because of quarterback play and the Rams are going to give Jared Goff his first career start.
New England (7-2) 45 @ San Francisco (1-8) 24: The 49ers just can’t catch a break. They have to play the Patriots after a loss and that is not a good thing. Tom Brady is going to have a field day against this defense with or without Gronk, who may be missing a game due to a punctured lung. San Francisco will need a miracle to win this one.
Philadelphia (5-4) 27 @ Seattle (6-2-1) 34: Seattle is clearly a Super Bowl contender and proved it last week with the big road win against the Patriots. Russell Wilson is beginning to find his grove and the Seahawks have found a versatile running back in CJ Prosise. Philadelphia is a much improved team, but rookie Carson Wentz will not be ready for the Seahawks defense, and his mistakes will lead to an easy win for the Seahawks.
Green Bay (4-5) 34 @ Washington (5-3-1) 31: I have been watching the NFL too long to know that the Packers will find their rhythm at some point in the season. This seems like the week it happens. These two teams met last year in the playoffs and the Packers got the win. Kirk Cousins is the type of quarterback who goes on streaks of good play and bad play. Lately the play has been good and he is due for a bad stretch. Packers find their mojo in the nation’s capital.
Houston (6-3) 21 @ Oakland (7-2) 27: It has been a long time since Oakland has been this good. Last week the Texans got their first road win on the season but it was against the Jaguars. The Win is less significant because of the competition. Houston is still a bad road team and will have a tough time in the Black Hole. Raiders win this game to keep the top spot in the AFC.
“From Our House to Yours”